‘YOU CAN DO THIS’
26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2023
Scripture stories often revolve around families and the relationships between siblings—two brothers, sons, a father’s command to go out and work.
I have sympathy for both sons. Anyone who has ever worked on a farm or watched day workers laboring under the hot sun knows agricultural work is hard.
The responses of both brothers make me wonder why they made the choices they did. The first brother says yes and then fails to go to the vineyard. Where am I in his response? Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I just cannot find the energy. Sometimes it just feels like the task is too hard. Sometimes I am afraid I will fail.
The second son does the opposite. He initially tells his father no. Where am I in his story? I think of tasks I want to avoid—the difficult conversation I need to have with someone, the doctor’s appointment I keep postponing, the boxes that need to be filled with things I no longer need but still have sentimental value. When I was younger, life seemed to go at its own pace. Now that I am older, there seem to be so many choices, but the choices are not easy.
How do we turn our no into a yes? Paul’s letter to the Philippians is full of encouragement. Sometimes it just takes one person to say “You can do this.” Sometimes it just takes one person to go with us to a dreaded doctor’s appointment. Sometimes it just takes one person to affirm our thoughts or actions. Our no can become a yes. We can find the courage and energy to do the difficult task because one person has said they have faith in us.
May we be so blessed to live in a community where others encourage us.
By Dominican Associate of Sinsinawa Cheryl Popple